Regarding the recently announced TFR for the Ferguson, MO area, what is the process by which such a TFR is granted?
The official reason given is "TO PROVIDE A SAFE ENVIRONMENT FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ACTIVITIES", however, there has been significant commentary on social media arguing that this may be a politically-motivated act to prevent the media from scrutinizing the actions of law enforcement (for instance here).
As far as I know, there is no (public) information regarding threats to airborne vehicles, and despite some initial reports most of the protests in the area have been peaceful. I'd like to assume that this TFR was created for legitimate, non-political reasons.
Is it common for the FAA to grant a TFR like this to local police? What is the process by which this is done? What criteria are considered by the FAA in determining whether such a TFR is warranted?
For the sake of posterity, the full text of the TFR NOTAM is:
!FDC 4/0271 ZKC MO.. AIRSPACE FERGUSON, MO.. TEMPORARY FLIGHT RESTRICTIONS. WITHIN AN AREA DEFINED AS 3 NM RADIUS OF 384428N0901812W (ST LOUIS VORTAC STL129011.0) SFC-3000FT TO PROVIDE A SAFE ENVIRONMENT FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ACTIVITIES. PURSUANT TO 14 CFR SECTION 91.137(A)(1) TEMPORARY FLIGHT RESTRICTIONS (TFR) ARE IN EFFECT. ONLY AIRCRAFT PERMITTED UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF 14 CFR 91.137(B) ARE ALLOWED TO OPERATE IN THIS 91.137(A)(1) TFR. THESE AIRCRAFT MUST BE OPERATING UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE UNIFIED COMMAND AT THE ST. LOUIS EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTER AND MUST CONTACT THE MID-AMERICA AIR OPERATIONS BRANCH AT TELEPHONE 636-825-9341 OR 636-825-9342 FOR PERMISSION TO ENTER THE TFR PRIOR TO DEPARTURE. ST.LOUIS GATEWAY TRACON, TELEPHONE 314-890-1017, IS THE FAA COORDINATION FACILITY. MEDIA CONCERNS REGARDING THIS TFR SHOULD BE DIRECTED TO FAA PUBLIC AFFAIRS THROUGH THE WASHINGTON OPERATIONS CENTER AT 202-267-3333. 1411250415-1411251015